In part 3 of this subcriber-only review series I look at season three of The Wire. In this season the Barksdale storyline comes to a climax, while the city hall politics are added into the ever-expanding world of the show. I examine the Hamsterdam experiment, where one police major decides to legalise drugs in certain parts of his districts, and whether the portrayal is realistic. I also explore the police COMSTAT system and why it makes it harder, not easier, to solve crimes, and why an intelligence-based approach to counterinsurgency is always superior to a military approach. I round off talking about Cutty a.k.a. Dennis Wise, and the bravery of the writers in including his story in the show.